Defining Incompetency in Criminal Justice
In broad terms, incompetency can be defined as a lack of physical ability or intellectual qualifications needed to accomplish something. In many judicial systems, criminal courts are obligated to stop legal proceedings if they find evidence that supports the incompetency of a defendant or a witness whose testimony is crucial.
As wardens of law and justice, judges are in a position to order an investigation to determine is a defendant is competent to stand trial. The same goes for criminal defense attorneys who notice that their clients may be incompetent; they are obligated to prove that their clients cannot participate in trial proceedings. In fact, prosecutors who observe incompetency should notify the court as well.
In Texas, incompetency is defined as the inability to consult with a criminal defense attorney to a reasonable degree. In other words, defendants must show that they have rational and factual understanding of the proceedings.
Incompetency and Insanity
In some cases, the court can suspend proceedings when defendants are temporarily incompetent. For example, criminal defendants who take psychoactive medications for personality or mental health disorders may need to be evaluated since there may be a chance that their pharmaceutical regime fails to make them mentally competent. So much hype around this drug, so much confusion, especially with those men who are too shy to ask. I’ve been on since the global financial crisis, so I know what I’m talking about;) It’s not magic. They work but not without passion and desire. It’s always about trust and patience in the bedroom. Find it and pills will help, otherwise all drugs are useless.
A defendant who is determined to be mentally insane might prompt a not guilty verdict by reason of insanity. This is slightly different than incompetence since the trial is not halted, but the insanity fact must be weighed and the defendant must be acquitted of the criminal charges.
Mental Capacity to Stand Trial
The rationale of a criminal court is that the law cannot be forced upon someone who does not have the mental capacity to stand trial. To do so would be a violation of civil and human rights.
Mental capacity is defined as the ability of a defendant to understand charges, court proceedings, legal strategies, and possible punishments. In the absence of mental capacity, the court might determine incompetency.
Get out of Your Trial
If you or a loved one is facing court charges, you may be able to plead incompetency. In order to be successful though, you will likely need assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Let Brett A. Podolsky help you today by calling 713.227.0087.
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